41 Facts About Bigelow Aerospace


Bigelow Aerospace is an American aeronautics and outer space technology company which manufactures and develops expandable space station modules.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,017

Bigelow Aerospace was founded by Robert Bigelow in 1998, and is based in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,018

Bigelow Aerospace announced in 2010 that they intended to create a modular set of space habitats for creating or expanding space stations but despite many concepts and models, never completed a working space station beyond two small prototypes that flew in 2006 and 2007.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,019

Bigelow Aerospace originally licensed the multi-layer, expandable space module technology from NASA in 2000 after Congress canceled the International Space Station TransHab project following delays and budget constraints in the late 1990s.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,020

Bigelow has three Space Act agreements whereby Bigelow Aerospace is the sole commercializer of several of NASA's key expandable module technologies.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,021

Bigelow Aerospace continued to develop the technology for a decade, redesigning the module fabric layers – including adding proprietary extensions of Vectran shield fabric, "a double-strength variant of Kevlar" – and developing a family of uncrewed and crewed expandable spacecraft in a variety of sizes.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,022

Bigelow Aerospace invested US$75 million in proprietary extensions to the NASA technology by mid-2006, and US$180 million into the technology by 2010.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,023

Since early on, Bigelow Aerospace has been intent on "pursuing markets for a variety of users including biotech and pharmaceutical companies and university research, entertainment applications and government military and civil users".

FactSnippet No. 1,602,024

Robert Bigelow Aerospace has been explicit that he is aiming to do business in space in a new way, with "low cost and rapid turnaround, contrary to traditional NASA ISS and Space Shuttle operations and bureaucracy".

FactSnippet No. 1,602,025

In October 2010, Bigelow Aerospace announced that it had agreements with six sovereign nations to utilize on-orbit facilities of the commercial space station: UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Netherlands Space Office, Defence South Australia, Singapore Government Technology Development Agency, Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation, chairman is a previous director of JAXA and Swedish National Space Board.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,026

In 2011, Bigelow Aerospace employed an in-house team of model makers, coming from the film and architecture industries, to make detailed models of their space habitats and space stations.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,027

Reportedly due to delays in launch capability to transport humans to low Earth orbit, Bigelow Aerospace dramatically reduced staff in late September 2011, because crew transportation would not become available until "years after the first B330 could be ready", laying off 40 of their 90 employees.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,028

On March 26,2021, Bigelow Aerospace filed a lawsuit against NASA with the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,029

In December 2021, Bigelow Aerospace transferred ownership of BEAM to NASA's Johnson Space Center.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,030

Bigelow Aerospace anticipates that its inflatable modules will be more durable than rigid modules.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,031

In 2010, Bigelow Aerospace began building a large production facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada to produce the space modules.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,032

Bigelow Aerospace expected to hire approximately 1,200 new employees to staff the plant, with production commencing in early 2012.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,033

On 12 July 2006, and 28 June 2007, Bigelow Aerospace launched the Genesis I and II modules, respectively.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,034

In mid-2008, Bigelow Aerospace completed the Galaxy module but did not launch it due to rising launch costs and the ability to substantially validate the new Galaxy technologies terrestrially, particularly after the successful two Genesis launches in 2006 and 2007.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,035

Bigelow Aerospace talked with Lockheed Martin regarding potential launches on the Atlas V-401 launch vehicle.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,036

On 8 April 2016, the SpaceX CRS-8 mission launched BEAM to the ISS; on 11 April 2016, Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance announced that an Atlas V-552 rocket had been booked for a flight in 2020 to deliver a B330 habitat to low-Earth orbit.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,037

Bigelow Aerospace ran a Fly Your Stuff program for the Genesis II launch.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,038

Bigelow Aerospace photographed each item with internal cameras as the items floated inside the craft, displaying them on the company website.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,039

Test items, supplied by Bigelow Aerospace employees, were sent into orbit on Genesis I No new images of items floating inside Genesis I have been released since shortly after the launch and initial activation of the spacecraft due to problems with a computer which controls several of the internal cameras.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,040

In July 2011, Bigelow Aerospace announced that they will cease development on the Sundancer and instead focus their efforts on the B330.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,041

In December 2012, Bigelow Aerospace began development work on the Bigelow Aerospace Expandable Activity Module under a US$17.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,042

Bigelow Aerospace has partnered with United Launch Alliance with the goal of launching a B330 module to orbit in 2021, potentially as an addition to the International Space Station.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,043

Bigelow Aerospace Next-Generation Commercial Space Station is a private orbital space complex currently under development by Bigelow Aerospace.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,044

Bigelow Aerospace began to publicly refer to the initial configuration — two Sundancer modules and one B330 module — of the first Bigelow Aerospace station as "Space Complex Alpha" in October 2010.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,045

Bigelow Aerospace announced in October 2010 that it has agreements with six sovereign nations to utilize on-orbit facilities of the commercial space station: United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan and Sweden.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,046

In November 2010, Bigelow Aerospace indicated that the company would like to construct ten or more space stations and that there is a substantial commercial market to support such growth.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,047

In 2004, Bigelow Aerospace established and funded a US$50 million prize, America's Space Prize, to stimulate development of manned vehicles.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,048

Bigelow Aerospace entered NASA's Commercial Crew Program with the Starliner capsule in collaboration with Boeing.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,049

Bigelow Aerospace worked with Boeing to refine requirements for Starliner, including joint tests in August 2012.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,050

Bigelow Aerospace said his proposed private Moon Base would consist of three B330s.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,051

In March 2013, Bigelow Aerospace signed a contract with NASA to "look at ways for private ventures to contribute to human exploration missions, perhaps including construction of a moon base" and to act as a clearinghouse with other commercial companies to extend commercial activity at conceptual lunar expeditionary bases in ways that are not a mainline part of NASA's current focus for human spaceflight, which is asteroid exploration missions.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,052

The Bigelow Aerospace report released later in 2013 identified "an uncertain regulatory environment as a major obstacle to commercial activities" on the Moon.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,053

Bigelow Aerospace has received several honors for its spaceflight efforts.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,054

On 3 October 2006, Bigelow Aerospace received the Innovator Award from the Arthur C Clarke Foundation.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,055

Robert Bigelow was presented the award at the Arthur C Clarke Awards in Washington, DC alongside Walter Cronkite, who was honored on the same night with the Arthur C Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,056

On 26 January 2007, the Space Foundation announced that Bigelow Aerospace would be the recipient of its 2007 Space Achievement Award.

FactSnippet No. 1,602,057